Downey re-elected as chair of Republican Party of Minnesota

GOP Chair Keith Downey
GOP Chair Keith Downey spoke at a press conference about GOP finances at the Minnesota State Office Building on Wed., Sept. 24, 2014.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News file

The Republican Party of Minnesota has re-elected former state legislator Keith Downey as its chair.

Downey easily fended off two libertarian challengers at a meeting of the party's State Central Committee.

Downey's opponents attacked him for not doing enough to pay down the party's $1.4 million dollars in debt. They also said the GOP's stance on social issues like same-sex marriage was driving young voters away.

Downey said the debate shows the Republican Party represents a broad coalition.

"I think we're stronger as a party for having competition and having a difference of opinions," Downey said. "The challenge for Republicans, and I mentioned this in my remarks, is that as a coalition, we have to find a way to work better together in the end when it counts, advancing our candidates to win in November."

Downey won on the first ballot with support from 68 percent of party delegates.

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